Wichita State high jumper Destiny Masters talks about her dramatic qualifying for the NCAA Championships and how she progressed from uncertain Division I athlete at Bluestem High School to national qualifier. She details how coach Steve Rainbolt learned when to give her a break and when to push and how his positive reinforcement plays a role in her success. Masters also discusses her relationship with former Shocker assistant coach Pat Wilson and his role in getting her to Wichita State.
Wichita State director of track and field Steve Rainbolt discusses the championship at the American Athletic Conference outdoor meet, how depth and balance prevailed and how his college experiences taught him to value the team aspect of an individual sport. We also talk about how the Shockers changed to compete in a new conference, decisions on the margins that paid off and how coach Kirk Hunter produced a superb year for his distance runners.
Farrah Miller joins the podcast to talk about the challenges of running the 800 meters, how her practice run at Cessna Stadium led her to Wichita State from New York and her advice for sight-seeing in the Big Apple. We talk about carbon-plated shoes and how they are changing the sport and more before Friday’s K.T. Woodman Classic at Cessna Stadium.
Ezinne and Chidera Okoro join the podcast with the indoor track and field season near to talk about their journey to Wichita State, the team atmosphere with the Shockers and how the high school track meet at Cessna Stadium introduced them to the university. We discuss the difficulty of learning the triple jump and learn which sister uses an agenda to stay organized and which relies on her memory. They describe the joy of the feeling when everything goes right during a jump and update on us what they’re reading and watching.
Episode description: In this episode of Wichita State University’s “Forward Together” podcast, President Rick Muma talks with Kevin Saal, who was hired as director of athletics at Wichita State University in June. Kevin is leading Shocker athletics during a time of significant change – name, image and likeness, the transfer portal and conference realignment top the list.
The “Forward Together” podcast celebrates the vision and mission of Wichita State University. In each episode, President Rick Muma will talk with guests from throughout Shocker Nation to highlight the people and priorities that guide WSU on its road to becoming an essential educational, cultural, and economic driver for Kansas and the greater good.
Shocker cross country gets rolling on Sept. 3 (Saturday) with the JK Gold Classic. Ben Flowers and Clayton Duchatschek discuss the expectations for the men’s team, favorite running paths in and around Wichita and their training routines for the summer. Flowers talks about how his teammates and coaches helped him work through an injury that cost him almost two years of running. Duchatschek takes us back to last spring’s clinching points in the American Athletic Conference outdoor track championships. We wrap up by choosing a favorite book about running.
Cessna Stadium is the site for the American Athletic Conference Outdoor Championship this weekend and we talk to Wichita State sprinter Paula Garcia and multi-athlete Maria Romero about home-court advantage and the best events to watch. We also talk about the pipeline from Spain to Wichita that has produced several standouts, the differences between athletics in Europe and the United States and their advice for young athletes. We discuss their majors, Romero’s participation in the Widener Global Leaders Program and Garcia’s book recommendations.
Hammer thrower Michael Bryan, a two-time NCAA All-American, joins the podcast to talk about his path from lightly recruited high school football player to Wichita State record-holder. He discusses how his love for the hammer grew into a research project and why a school-closing snow storm won’t keep him from throwing outdoors in January. He breaks down the “jar of pennies” philosophy that guides his school and training and the music of Sam Cooke helps him during practices.
Wichita State competes in the American Athletic Conference Indoor Championships this weekend in Birmingham, Ala. John Wise, assistant director of track and field and cross country, talks about Wichita State’s Destiny Masters (pentathlon), Adam Moore (mile), Michael Bryan (weight throw) and Amanda Kakoulias (shot put) and how they stack up in the conference meet. We discuss the best opportunities for the Shockers to grab unexpected points and the quirky habits of throwers. Also on the schedule is a look at how the American’s changing membership affects track and field recruiting and a look at Wise’s YouTube series “Travel with a Wise Guy,” highlighted by a discussion of Joyland’s place in Wichita pop culture.
Jed Helker, fresh off his 8-kilometer win in the Greeno/Dirksen Invitational in Nebraska, talks about how he knocked 40 seconds off his personal best and why there is much optimism for the men’s cross country team. He discusses how the atmosphere at Wichita State attracted him as a recruit out of Oklahoma and coach Kirk Hunter’s blend of caring for his runners and pushing them. We also discuss how Oklahoma coach Hannah Fields, his older sister, influenced his running career and his motivations for considering coaching as a career.